Cool Layers Are
the Summer Hack

Taylor Stitch men's Ojai camo jacket Taylor Stitch men's Ojai camo jacket

Cool Layers
Are the
Summer Hack

A lightweight jacket is the
forgotten flex of the season

Summer is in full swing, and coupled with vaccinations and a burning desire to just do stuff, it's certainly going to be one to remember. Long days and warm weather means everything from beach days and weekend camping trips to a night out with friends is fair game. After time to work on our summer bods (or embracing that newfound dad bod), it's time to dress the part. But don't forget the most overlooked piece of warm weather wear: a light jacket.

Shades, sandals and swim trunks are a no-brainer, but the all-important lightweight outer layer too often goes forgotten, leading to inevitable regret on an extra-rainy hike, a quickly cooling night, or even just on a cloudy day. Built to keep you dry and comfortable, the best summer jackets are lightweight, easily packable and ready to provide warmth or just an extra layer against the elements. A light cotton, linen or nylon often offers the most breathability, and waterproofing is always a welcome addition.

It's no surprise that the best picks of the season are either incredibly technical or immaculately built. Make sure you pick the right style for your needs—a denim jacket is great for the bar and not so great for a 10-mile trek. Likewise, an easy zip, lightweight coat is the perfect picnic accompaniment. Much like shoes or a loud shirt, a jacket can be the statement piece of any outfit—just make sure you stay neutral with the paired tops and bottoms. Herewith, our picks for the best lightweight jackets you can wear right now.

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The Best
Lightweight Jackets
in 2021

Alex Mill Vintage Twill Blazer
Alex Mill Vintage Twill Blazer

Vintage twill blazer,
$185 by Alex Mill

Levi's Vintage Fit Trucker Jacket

Vintage fit trucker jacket,
$89.50 by Levi's

Universal Works Windcheater Cotton Jacket

Windcheater cotton jacket,
$375 by Universal Works

AllSaints Axon Jacket
AllSaints Axon Jacket

Axon jacket,
$539 / $323 by AllSaints

Stussy Panel Track Jacket

Panel track jacket,
$130 by Stüssy

NOAH x adidas water-repellent running jacket

Water-repellent running jacket,
$188 by NOAH x adidas

Bode Amber Plaid Overshirt

Amber plaid overshirt,
$680 by Bode

Tracksmith Pioneers Club Stadium Jacket

Pioneers Club stadium jacket,
$118 by Tracksmith

L.L. Bean Archival Anorak

Archival anorak,
$69 by L.L. Bean

Polo Ralph Lauren Cotton Windbreaker

Cotton windbreaker,
$150 by Polo Ralph Lauren

Freemans Sporting Club Hooded Rain Jacket
Freemans Sporting Club Hooded Rain Jacket

Hooded rain jacket,
$190 by Freemans Sporting Club

Corridor Linen Service Jacket

Linen service jacket,
$245 by Corridor

Madewell Denim Chore Jacket

Denim chore jacket,
$148 by Madewell

UNIQLO Jersey Overshirt

Jersey overshirt,
$39.90 by UNIQLO

Taylor Stitch Ojai Jacket

The Ojai jacket,
$198 by Taylor Stitch

FYI

Not sure about the “how do I wear this button down with this jacket” shuffle? Here’s an easy tip to remember for outerwear: Match collared jackets with T-shirts, or vice versa. This allows you to avoid any uncomfortable stacking or bulging around the neck.

NOTE: Items featured in this story are independently selected by the editorial team. Purchasing via our links may earn Valet. a portion of the sale, which helps fund our editorial mission.

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